HOT DESKING: How to Work Through Berliner Heatwave


In Berlin, summer hits hard and fast. Since last weekend, temperatures have been pushing 30 degrees: blissful if you have your toes in a lake, but a personal inferno mid-week in the office. Too often, the summer means being trapped in rooms with no air-conditioning, and it can be a real challenge to keep your cool. It’s hardly surprising that tempers begin to fray and ideas become stifled in a heatwave.

So what can you do to keep cool?

The optimum human body temperature is between ‎36.5–37.5°C. That means going easy on coffee and tea, though at least one person in the office will insist it makes more biological sense to sip hot beverages like they do in the Sahara. You choose - but the crack of ice cubes is hard to resist. You could even reinvest the time you’d normally spend crafting your morning macchiato into petitioning your boss for a complimentary ice-cream policy. Otherwise, stay hydrated by swapping your Mate for water, and beware of open windows (which might be wafting even hotter air from outside into you and your Mitarbeiters' faces).

But as they say: fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Before even stepping foot in the office, make sure to wear loose, breathable fabrics in light colours. You might even want to re-acquaint yourself with your office dress code; there seems to be renewed consensus that shorts on men can, in fact, look professional and in the start-up world, maybe even flip-flops are allowed, depending on the last time you got a pedi. When is it okay to bare nipples? Again, you be the judge and when in doubt, ask. Your colleagues might not be thrilled if the coffee machine turns into an FKK zone.

But if you still find yourself struggling to breathe, it might be time to get out of the office altogether. Talk to your colleagues about what you might realistically be able to get done in the sun. Relocating your weekly team meeting to Görli for a round of späti beers may not be practical, but getting outside could be an excellent way to refresh tired brains and let interesting new ideas circulate and a few companies offer handy solutions.

Avoid the office greenhouse effect by organising that crucial meeting in a new space entirely. Companies like Spacebase offer innovative and exciting spaces for meetings and events and these can provide a welcome break from stifling routines. Whether it’s aboard a boat on the Spree, on a rooftop terrace with bar and views over Mitte, or in a garden surrounded by greenery and with picnic services provided, there are options to bring the benefits of the outdoors to your summer work events.

Or pause work for the day and embrace the summer vibes. It might sound cliché but team-building activities break up the week and get you and your coworkers away from the stuffy confines of the office. Business yoga in the park, a canoeing trip on the Spree, or a bike tour into Brandenburg can be super effective ways to get some fresh air. Tagewerk offers a variety of events designed to make daily duties more collaborative, creative and fun.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not consider something longer term? A company retreat might be the perfect opportunity to unite the team and increase productivity while escaping the humid office environment. Surf Office is one concept that heralds the power of moving offsite: helping teams disrupt their routine and combine work with play.

And if all else fails, get a fan and wait for winter.

By Edward Belleville
Edward Belleville is a writer and translator based in Berlin. 

Powered by Blogger.